(Craig F. Walker, Denver Post file)

In Adams County, pot sales taxes to climb above 23 percent

Eight recreational marijuana businesses in Northglenn and a northern sliver of Aurora will see their sales taxes increase considerably next summer thanks to four measures that passed in the November elections.

Adams County residents passed a ballot measure that allows the county to collect an additional 3 percent sales tax on all retail stores in the entire county. To date, that only includes retail stores in Northglenn and four stores in the Adams County portion of Aurora — anything north of Colfax Avenue.

The 3 percent county tax will go into effect July 1.

The county itself has a ban on retail marijuana operations in unincorporated portions of the county, which will expire Dec. 31.

Officials in the Adams County attorney’s office said business owners can begin applying through the state on Jan. 1 for retail marijuana operations in unincorporated areas.

The county anticipates about $1.2 million in revenue in the first full year of collecting the tax (2016) from the first eight stores.

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Aurora and Northglenn both also passed 2 percent citywide taxes on retail marijuana earlier this month. Those taxes will begin Jan. 1.

Right now, Northglenn retail marijuana consumers pay 18.75 percent in total taxes — 12.9 for state recreational marijuana sales taxes, plus city, county and special district taxes. With the approved 2 percent city tax and the approved 3 percent county tax, Northglenn marijuana consumers will pay 23.75 percent on retail marijuana and products in July.

In Aurora, people who buy marijuana at one of the four Adams County locations pay 18.50 percent in sales taxes. That will go up to 23.50 percent next summer.

Aurora voters also approved a 5 percent excise tax on unprocessed retail marijuana sold or transferred from a retail marijuana cultivation facility.

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City officials from Northglenn and Aurora are widely opposed to the tax from Adams County. They each approved resolutions denouncing the county’s ballot question in October, a week or two after the county put the question on the ballot.

“There was no communication, whatsoever,” Northglenn councilman Kyle Mullica said last month. The commissioners “want to come in and tax the municipalities that do have marijuana, yet they don’t have it themselves. We’re the main people in the county that this is going to affect.”

Aurora city attorney Mike Hyman said he and Northglenn’s city attorney, Corey Hoffman, are looking into the legality of the imposed tax now.

“I don’t think it’s fair to our citizens that Adams County will be raising revenues for county operations that may or may not benefit” Aurora, Hyman said. “And I think there’s a problem statutorily of them levying a tax.”

Megan Mitchell: 303-954-2650, mmitchell@denverpost.com or twitter.com/Mmitchelldp

Adams county retail pot shops


3LP LLC at 6403 N. Jackson Gap St.

The Green Solution at 14301 E. Colfax Ave.

Terrapin Care Station at 11900 E. 33rd Ave.

Altitude Aurora at 10455 E. Colfax Ave.


The Green Solution at 470 Malley Drive

Green Tree at 10575 Melody Drive

BotanaCare at 11450 Cherokee St.

Physician Preferred Products at 2100 E. 112th Ave. (set to begin retail sales after Jan. 1)

This story was first published on DenverPost.com